Re: INPUT enhancements - was Re: SELECT NEST proposal

Simon Cox (
Thu, 13 Mar 1997 14:12:42 -0500

Message-ID: <>
Date: Thu, 13 Mar 1997 14:12:42 -0500
From: Simon Cox <>
To: "nemo/Joel N. Weber II" <>
Subject: Re: INPUT enhancements - was Re: SELECT NEST proposal

nemo/Joel N. Weber II wrote:
>    I suggest <INPUT TYPE="range" NAME=string>
>    but there are quite a few attributes that are needed, at least:
>    1.  variable type - float, int, ?alpha
> I can't think of any places where alpha would be useful.  

... but it is only a small extension, so why not?

> I'm also not sure if float is nessisary.

On this I disagree strongly - eg what about choosing 
a position given in kms along a route?  Maybe its 
because I'm a natural scientist ... 

> I agree this is needed.
>    3.  granularity/quanta
> I'm not sure if this is needed.  But I think it is.  Does anyone
> have an example of where it's useful?

This is essential for floats (how many decimal places??), and 
useful in all cases

>    5.  selector scaling - linear (default), logarithmic, ?reciprocal,
>    ?square etc
> I'm not sure this is nessisary.

Again - as a natural scientist, who wants to create services for other 
natural scientists, I need to have non-linear scaling.  Maybe this would 
not be a priority in initial implementations, but I don't think 
it is overloading anything much.  

>    6.  discontinuous ranges?
> Why?

The main reason for menus, sliders, check-boxes etc
is to restrict choices to valid ones only!  
A common comment about html forms is that there 
are no standard validation checking methods.  
I suggest that these mechanisms implicitly 
go a long way towards validation checking.  

Text entry fields are the hardest to handle, 
so anything that can be done avoid these should be.  
This means that we should try to provide the richest 
possible configuration for this kind of element.  

Since a major reason for using sliders rather than 
text entry is to prevent the user setting invalid values, 
then if part of a range is inaccessible, you shouldn't be able to choose

> 10% of the functionality will do the job in 99% of the cases.  I'm not
> convinced that offering every concieveable possibility is useful.

No - but these do not cover every conceivable possibility, just 
the few I could come up with while typing.  
> For this to become really useful, you have to convince browser writers
> that they want to support it.

... so, how do we go about that!!??!!  

Thanks for the comments.  
Dr Simon Cox - Australian Geodynamics Cooperative Research Centre
CSIRO Exploration & Mining, PO Box 437, Nedlands, WA 6009 Australia
T:  +61 9 389 8421   F:  +61 9 389 1906